June 23, 2014

Less than two years after the $2 million sale of what essentially was a vacant office-building shell, the newly upgraded, four-story, 1290 Silas Deane Highway mid-rise in Wethersfield is drawing enough tenant interest to be virtually full, brokers say.

The 41-year-old glass-and-brick building so far has seven tenants — led by Hartford Healthcare — who combined have about 300 workers occupying all but 12,500 of its 90,000 square feet, said Rocky Hill’s O,R&L Commercial broker Jay Morris. Previously, a pair of large tenants occupied the building.

Landlord JMM Properties LLC bought the then-empty building in late summer of 2012. Recently, however, Buffalo, N.Y., lender First Niagara Financial Group announced that it had granted JMM a $4.85 million permanent loan so the landlord could complete a slew of renovations to the building’s interior and exterior.

Most render the structure more energy efficient, Morris said. Coordinating with Connecticut Light & Power Co., the landlord invested in improvements that include a new roof comprised of a white, heat-reflecting membrane; new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system; tinted windows; eco-friendly carpet tiles; and energy-saving lighting inside and out.

The building’s common areas, elevators and landscaping, too, were updated, to restore it to Class A status. So noticeable are the exterior enhancements, the Wethersfield Chamber of Commerce honored the building with its beautification award.

1290 Silas Deane’s owner seems to enjoy the challenge of repositioning commercial properties whose luster has faded.

Operating as Executive 200 LLC, the landlord earlier this month bought at foreclosure auction the vacant 154,000-square-foot 200 Executive Blvd. office building, where Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. once had operations there and in several adjacent buildings.

Morris, who oversees leasing for both 200 Executive and 1290 Silas Deane, said the landlord plans to invest an unspecified sum in similar maintenance and uprgrades in preparation for lease up of 200 Executive.